How to fix cheap cigar problems

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How to fix cheap cigar problems

Cheap cigars are ideal for everyday smokes, quick puffs to enjoy during the week, or exploring new flavors without breaking the bank. 

Cigars with a smaller price tag don’t always reflect the quality. However, sometimes you can experience issues when the cigar begins to burn.

Before you indulge in a tasty smoke, you need to know how to cut a cigar, light a cigar, and draw correctly to avoid the common problems you might experience with cigars. 

Common cigar issues

Whether you are a connoisseur or a newbie, you may not be aware of some of the issues you can face when lighting up a stogie. Thankfully these issues are common, and all smokers will have experienced them at least once, so you don’t need to be an expert.

Uneven burn

The experience of an uneven cigar burn can always be disappointing, and there are a few reasons why it can happen.

One of the leading causes can be improper lighting, caused by using a low-quality lighter or not lighting the cigar at the right angle — too far in one direction leads to it burning one section more than the rest.

Humidification issues can impact your enjoyable smoke! If you store your cigar correctly in your humidor at the proper humidity level, this can prevent it from becoming under-humidified and drying out. The same thing can happen if you allow your cigars to be over-humidified, making the cigar so wet it expands and eventually ruins it, resulting in disappointing smoke.

How to fix an uneven burn

Thankfully, an uneven burn can be fixed.

When it comes to sparking up, ensure you take care when toasting the end of your cigar evenly and ensure that the entire end of the cigar (including the wrapper’s outer edge) is glowing orange.

Humidification issues are quite complex. However, you need to identify the problem. Is the cigar under or over-humidified? If your cigars are under-humidified, you must pop them back into your humidor, ensuring they are at around 70 percent humidity. Sadly, this can delay your enjoyable smoke for about a week, but it will be worth it.

Like under-humidified cigars, the best way to rectify an over-humidified stogie is to put it in your humidor, at the proper humidity level, for a couple of weeks. Patience is the key to ensuring you get the most out of your tasty cigar.


Canoeing is when your cigar starts to burn down one side, and the unburned portion begins to look like a canoe, hence the name for this issue. Cigar canoeing can be a frustrating experience and can happen when your cigar isn’t lit correctly, creating an uneven burn down one side. Canoeing can also be a symptom of humidification issues.

How to fix a canoeing cigar

To avoid a canoeing cigar, you need to ensure you light your smoke carefully and ensure the foot of your cigar is burning at an even rate. If one side ignites faster than the other, gently toast the end until your cigar is ignited all the way around to avoid canoeing. You can also try turning the cigar in your hand to promote an even airflow. If you’re in windy outdoor conditions, put the unburned side into the wind until it evens up.


Tunneling is exactly how it sounds — your cigar burns through the inner filler, the outer wrapper and binder remain untouched, and your cigar looks like a deep tunnel. This can happen when the inside is drier than the outside, indicating too much humidity in your humidor. Tunneling can also result from drawing too infrequently on your cigar and can cause the wrapper and the outer leaves to burn at different temperatures.

How to fix a tunneling cigar

Sadly, when a cigar begins tunnel, it means it may require a few relights, and it’s your choice to persevere with the smoke. You can fix tunneling caused by humidification with your humidor. Check your hydrometer and ensure it’s between 63 and 70% humidity. When your cigar begins tunneling, you need to keep lighting the outside to continue the smoke.


Coning is the opposite to tunneling. This is when the wrapper and binder burn faster than the filler. When you ash your cigar, the core of the ashes stays in place and takes on the shape of a cone with a pointy, pyramid-shaped ash. Smoking your cigar too fast and taking too many quick puffs can cause your cigar to cone.

How to fix a coning cigar

The only way to fix a coning cigar is to check your smoking speed. Slow down a little and give yourself more time between puffs, leaving it a good 30-60 seconds. If you slow down and it’s still happening, it probably doesn’t have anything to do with you.

The cigar won’t stay lit

Nothing is worse than a cigar that won’t stay lit. No matter what you do and how well you try, it simply doesn’t work. The most likely reason for this is that it’s over-humidified, but don’t forget that improper lighting and smoking speed can play a factor.

How to fix a cigar that won’t stay lit

If your cigar doesn’t stay lit, give it some rest, set it down for around 15 minutes, and it should acclimate, giving a better chance with a relight. Equally important, you must ensure you’ve lit your cigar correctly the first and second time you light it to ensure you have a better chance of enjoying the smoke. If this doesn’t work, grab another stogie and enjoy that instead.

As previously mentioned, a cheap cigar doesn’t always reflect bad quality. If you keep your eye out for our cigar buying guides deals and discounts, you can be sure to enjoy a cheap cigar smoking experience without spending a lot. 

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